Wisconsin technology firm Three Square Market has injected 80 employees with their own brand of RFID microchips over the last year, and according to MIT Technology Review, “they love it.”
The implant, which is about the size of a grain of rice, utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, also found in credit cards, debit cards, key fobs, and smartphones. This technology is considered “passive,” meaning the microchip stores data that can be read by other devices but cannot read data themselves.
The chip’s applications are devilishly simple; from locked doors, to cashless commerce, to providing first responders with detailed medical information in the event of an emergency – the possibilities are seemingly endless.
“It’s just become such a part of my routine,” says VP of finance Steve Kassekert, who says he was miffed when the RFID reader on the vending machine went down a couple of months ago.
And sure, buried towards the end of the MTR article are concerns over security – such as the fact that anyone with an RFID reader can cozy up to a chipped individual and ping their implant to glean personal information. But hey – CEO Patrick McMullan points out that “similar personal information could be stolen from his wallet, too.”
“You can sniff it if you’re at a bus stop,” he says.
You can even install them yourself…
Europe’s already with the program
As we reported in May, over 3,000 Swedes have implanted tiny microchips beneath their skin to replace their credit card information, identification, keys, train tickets, among other everyday items, according to Agence France-Press.
Governments in Europe quietly experimented with embedding the small chip in humans in 2015 in Sweden, and several other countries in the region, before the recent rollout.
“Swedes have gone on to be very active in microchipping, with scant debate about issues surrounding its use, in a country keen on new technology and where the sharing of personal information is held up as a sign of a transparent society,” AFP notes.
Ulrika Celsing is one of 3,000 Swedes with a microchip implanted in her hand — a process called “biohacking.” The 28-year-old told AFP, “It was fun to try something new and to see what one could use it for to make life easier in the future.”